Power Play

By: Mr. Wilson on September 2, 2005
LES has decided to continue with its recommendation to run a high-voltage power line along the west edge of Nine Mile Prairie. The decision is somewhat surprising considering the intense disapproval of the plan by prairie supporters, whose main complaint is that the power line will ruin the view from the prairie. LES is stuck in a no-win situation. They can keep the line next to the prairie and sacrifice PR points at a time when rates are increasing. Or they can cave in, move the line, and be forced to raise rates even faster due to the extra costs, thus sacrificing PR points. I don't find the prairie supporters' complaint very compelling. I don't think that "it will ruin the view" is a sufficient justification for awarding them de facto veto power over neighboring developments. It would be an unfortunate precedent. Today it's a power line. Tomorrow it's a house, or a gas station, or a Hy-Vee. The prairie's primary purpose is as a biological reserve. A power line will not affect that role. An undisturbed view is a nice bonus, but it is a weak justification for applying this sort of an easement on neighboring property.


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